Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 28 December 2014

New Reds signing McDaid hungry to earn club hero status

Fresh face: David McDaid is settling into his new home at Solitude
Fresh face: David McDaid is settling into his new home at Solitude

David McDaid has laughed off any suggestions he's the "new Liam Boyce" at Cliftonville.

The striker has joined the champions this month to help fill the void left by Boyce's exit to Scottish Premier League side Ross County in the summer.

Northern Ireland international Boyce was the best player in the Irish League and his deadly partnership with Joe Gormley helped fire the Solitude men to back to back titles.

While Boyce's personal dream of securing full-time football is being realised, Cliftonville boss Tommy Breslin was left fielding countless questions on how his squad would adapt to life without the former Werder Bremen man.

Those questions intensified after the Reds were held to a scoreless draw by Glentoran on the opening day of the season, but an improved offer for McDaid finally persuaded Coleraine to release their grip on the frontman.

The 23-year-old made his Cliftonville debut in the 1-0 midweek win over Portadown and it will be interesting to see how his partnership with Gormley develops.

It would be unfair to expect the former Derry City star to produce the magic that Boyce was capable of and the man himself says he's a very different operator.

"I haven't come to Cliftonville to fill Liam Boyce's shoes," said McDaid.

"Liam is a completely different type of player.

"Anyone trying to compare us would be making a massive comparison.

"But there's no doubt his departure has left a void in the team and hopefully I can help fill that.

"But I'm my own player and I'll do what I do.

"I put a lot of pressure on myself to perform so no-one else needs to do that for me.

"I just want to score goals for Cliftonville."

It's been a busy few weeks for the frontman who had a spell with York City before joining Derry.

He joined Coleraine midway through last season but the temptation of competing for the champions proved too strong to resist. The Reds' persistence paid off.

"I'm really enjoying it so far – in fact I'm loving it," he added.

"It was a bit of a strange feeling coming from playing for Coleraine on the Saturday, then Cliftonville on the Wednesday.

"You could say a lot of change has happened in a few days but the club has made me feel very welcome.

"To be fair to Coleraine, Oran Kearney and (chairman) Colin McKendry were great with me and very understanding.

"I had another year left on my contract so they could have kept me on at Coleraine, but they allowed me to move on and I would like to thank them for allowing this move to go through.

"Everyone at Cliftonville has been fantastic and I have fitted right in.

"It feels like home for me now and hopefully I can achieve success here.

"Everyone knows Joe Gormley is a quality finisher and hopefully we can benefit each other and form a good partnership.

"Our games are probably different but hopefully we can suit each other with our different styles.

"I like to get the ball to feet whereas Joe is good at getting behind defenders and hopefully I can be a good link-man for him.

"Joe scored a lovely goal against Portadown.

"His control was superb, he took the chance early in the box and drilled the ball low into the net."

McDaid is now looking forward to rolling his sleeves up for the Reds and engaging in some fierce Premiership battles, including the road trip to newly promoted Institute this afternoon.

He added: "Institute have started the season very well but then I am not surprised by that.

"Paul Kee has a very good side and they will have a lot of confidence.

"They beat Coleraine which was a very good result at any stage of the season.

"They will try to play good football and they will be hard to beat this season, particularly at home.

"It's going to be a very exciting title race and all the teams have strengthened which should make it more interesting.

"But the boys have won back to back titles and they are still buzzing from that.

"Hopefully we can carry that on.

"The boys have that experience behind them but, of course, it's early days and there's a lot of work ahead. I can see a lot of the games being fiercely competitive."

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